Nima | Gelephu

More than 800 people registered to undergo home quarantine as Sarpang dzongkhag Covid-19 task force started approving home quarantine for people wishing to travel from Sarpang, a high-risk area to low-risk areas yesterday.

The home quarantine measure came into effect as part of the new Covid-19 management strategy that was announced as a major change in protocols for the inter-district travel and quarantine last week.

The duration of the quarantine is seven days.

The dzongkhag home quarantine management and gewog home quarantine management are monitoring and coordinating home quarantine.

Gewogs are tasked to look after those quarantined in villages.

Meanwhile, officials from the task force said some outbound travellers were home quarantined about seven hours away from the road point.

“We are worried how people would travel to the nearest road point. Arranging transportation is a challenge. We have asked gewogs to attend to such issues,” an official said.

The task force works in coordination with the Road Safety and Transport Authority (RSTA) officials to manage transportation.

The approval is given upon the availability of bus service from the dzongkhag.

A task force member, Dawa Pelzang, said home quarantine was also a shift from enforced responsibility to self-responsibility. “Public must continue to support the task force.”

He said home quarantine is approved in a controlled manner to avoid inconveniences to people after completing the quarantine.

The gewogs have also started home quarantine yesterday.

An outbound traveller undergoing quarantine in Gelephu said the follow-up is done through calls and provides medical help when required.

Protocols for home quarantine

Officials said any individual approved for home quarantine will have to visit the nearest health facility for a rapid antigen test.

The individual should not mingle with people after receiving confirmation from the dzongkhag home quarantine team.

Essentials and medicine refills must be stocked to last for seven days.

Home quarantine individuals in villages would be allowed to work in the field or look after cattle without mixing with people from other households.

However, those placed under home quarantine in towns are not allowed to come out of houses.

Officials from the task force said options were given whether the entire family members could stay together indoors or keep the person approved for home quarantine in separate rooms. Other members could move out in such cases.

A person must register online through a Google document form shared on the dzongkhag administration Facebook page or call at 1010 for registration.

Task force officials explained dzongkhags in the southern region are considered high risk since the start of the pandemic.

They also said dzongkhags in the south would be the first to be hit by any new Covid-19 variant in the country through movements via lands and there are also risks from air travel.

Officials said dzongkhags in the south is still risky and must continue these preventive measures besides wearing the mask, practising social distancing, and using Druk Trace app.